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Old Mar 26, 13, 4:33 pm   #1
 
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Question Best airline for overweight passengers? (first time flyer)

Hi. This will be my first time flying and I'm scared out of my mind. Not only because it's my first time flying, not even because i'm scared of heights or crashing. I'm terrified i'm "too fat to fly" as some put it. I'm scared I'll be kicked off the plane or something else might happen.

I'm tall and big but I can deal with not having leg room. I just worry about being too big. What has your experience been? I'm looking in to delta. Have you had good or bad experiences with them? Will I have to fly first class to fit? I already know I'll be asking for a seat belt extender but I'm not sure if I'll fit in the seat.
Any help would be amazing!

Thank you.
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Old Mar 26, 13, 4:37 pm   #2
 
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Best airline for overweight passengers? (first time flyer)

How big are we talking?
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Old Mar 26, 13, 4:38 pm   #3
 
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Best airline for overweight passengers? (first time flyer)

First class, if affordable to you, maybe be your best option, but you should really call delta because depending in how big you are they may require you to buy an extra seat.
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Old Mar 26, 13, 6:14 pm   #4
 
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Either first class or two coach seats.
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Old Mar 26, 13, 6:14 pm   #5
 
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Best airline for overweight passengers? (first time flyer)

My aunt is heavy and would sometimes buy 2 seats when flying, not just for the people around her but also for herself. Obviously this costs more, but I would encourage you to consider it for your own comfort. If you call the airline, I am sure they would be happy to assist and can discuss your financial options. Airline seats are quite small in coach, first class seats are larger and significantly more comfortable.
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Old Mar 26, 13, 7:11 pm   #6
 
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Best airline for overweight passengers? (first time flyer)

You will also want to consider the specific aircraft.

Regional aircraft are notorious being difficult for larger pax, especially Dash-8. Airline customer service can help you select routing to planes which are more forgiving as well as options such as E+ or bulkhead that may also make the flight more comfortable for you
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Old Mar 26, 13, 7:50 pm   #7
 
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Despite being a media pariah on this issue, go with Southwest. Their "customer of size" policy is very fair and well spelled out. Purchase two seats. Pay for their early bird check-in or even business select to get on the plane within the first group of passengers. With their open seating/no assigned seat policy, choose a pair of seats and enjoy your first flight. Southwest flies 737s across their entire fleet so there is no chance of ending up on a small regional jet. If the flight is not full, you will receive a refund on the 2nd seat purchased.
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Old Mar 26, 13, 8:53 pm   #8
 
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Thank you for posting. The more dialogue we can have with this - the better. I am a customer of size. I am 6'5 and between 375-400 pounds depending on if I've eaten on the day or if I'm wearing heavy clothes! I joke - but it fluctuates!

Although I've read people who are flat out rude to fat people and will make comments to them, no one tends to make those comments to me. Not sure if I just look scary or if I look like I'm someone that says don't F with me - but either way - no one has had quite the bravado that I've read others having on message boards to my face.

Still, because comfort and cost are important to me - I've exclusively flown Spirit Airlines thus far and paid for the Big Front Seat upgrade.

These people who flippantly say "buy two seats! Buy first class!" don't realize that fat people aren't always independently wealthy. First class or two seats might take the cost of the vacation from flexible to out of your range.

With Spirit, you will read 98% horrible reviews about them. Don't let that deter you. You will get a comfortable seat if they fly out of your airport - for generally $100 more - which is way less than the cost of two seats - and if you learn to play their game, that $100 more might be cheaper than Southwest - even with a checked bag. When you get the big seat in the front row - you have to put your bag in overhead, so you might even be able to get away with a slightly bigger bag - but that's up to you to decide the risk - and I wouldn't advise that until you've flown a few times to gauge how much they tend to crack down on that.

So without a doubt, Spirit is the most fat friendly airline if you'll pay for the big seat upgrade because it infuses economics with comfort.
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Old Mar 26, 13, 9:55 pm   #9
 
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If you tell us where you're going and where you're from, maybe we can give you more specific suggestions. And also a little more specific on size may help.

Otherwise, my advice would just be to research all the flight options you have, look up the seats, seat width, pitch, etc.

To horseymen: First class may not be significantly more than coach, and if it's a person that flies once a year, you definitely don't need to be wealthy to purchase an extra seat or an F seat. But thank you for your positive comments about Spirit...that's nice to know and something you definitely don't hear about much on this board.

Last edited by Apieinthesky; Mar 27, 13 at 1:18 am. Reason: typo
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Old Mar 26, 13, 10:09 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WChou View Post
Despite being a media pariah on this issue, go with Southwest. Their "customer of size" policy is very fair and well spelled out. Purchase two seats. Pay for their early bird check-in or even business select to get on the plane within the first group of passengers. With their open seating/no assigned seat policy, choose a pair of seats and enjoy your first flight. Southwest flies 737s across their entire fleet so there is no chance of ending up on a small regional jet. If the flight is not full, you will receive a refund on the 2nd seat purchased.
Ditto - if Southwest flies to where you want I would try them first as said above they seem to have best spelled out policy.
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Old Mar 27, 13, 12:43 am   #11
 
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The problem I have found even with the two seats is that my issue is not butt room (although I have no doubt I'd spill over - but if I was traveling with my 2 year old, I wouldn't care) - it's with the leg room. You may find even on Southwest that even if you have the extra seat, your knees are straight in the back of the person in front of you and getting up to let the person by you (or going by the person) is extremely uncomfortable.

Which is why Spirit works out so well for people of size. Go figure, that one of the most customer unfriendly airlines is one of the most fat friendly-cost efficient airlines..

You can fly, for instance, from DFW-PDX in their first class upgrade seats for $18 each way! Vegas is $65 each way and the most I've seen. LAX is $50. FLL is $40 one way and $60 the other way. You get 38 inch pitch and 20 inch seats with big recliner like arms to keep you "contained" within the seat. At 6'5, 375 with most of my weight below my belly button (think pear instead of apple) - I can use one of their seatbelts without an extender. And if you get their Spirit credit card, and again, play their game, the frequent flyer program looks amazing - like a hidden gem. I feel like an employee - but I'm just thrilled that there's an airline, if you're willing to jump through a few hoops, makes it convenient for big people to fly (and cost effective).

Of course, the variables others have mentioned - where you are flying to/from matters since Spirit is not everywhere..
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Old Mar 27, 13, 7:04 am   #12
 
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This website has helpful info such as seat size on different aircraft. Some planes have seats that are an inch or so bigger and that might make all the difference.
http://www.seatguru.com/
Since you seem to have a lot of anxiety about this, maybe you should try to buy two seats, if you can afford it. The extra expense is simply an investment you make in yourself, similar to buying larger size clothing or supersizing a McD meal - these higher expenses related to your larger size are acceptable so why not an extra seat. I'm not trying to be cruel, just trying to put things in perspective. If you can't afford two seats, well there are a lot of people that can't afford even one seat.
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Old Mar 27, 13, 9:17 am   #13
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Seatguru.com is a great resource in general. I agree with those suggesting trying to buy either a first-class seat or two coach seats. I realize this may not be possible but if it is I think it's really something that should be considered. The advantage of first-class seat is somewhat wider seats and generally considerably more legroom. The advantage of two coach seats is a much wider seating area. However, two coach seats will have obviously the same legroom as a single coach seat. One thing that is critical to be aware of, however, is that some seats in coach (and virtually all in first) do not have an armrest that can be lifted. In this case two seats isn't going to help a lot, although it will help a little with shoulder room. Whether the armrest lifts up or not will vary from plane to plane and even seat to seat in some planes. In general, SeatGuru.com will describe whether the armrest is moveable for a particular seat on a given plane. It would probably be good to discuss this with the airline as well.
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Old Mar 27, 13, 9:42 am   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horseymen View Post

Still, because comfort and cost are important to me - I've exclusively flown Spirit Airlines thus far and paid for the Big Front Seat upgrade.

These people who flippantly say "buy two seats! Buy first class!" don't realize that fat people aren't always independently wealthy. First class or two seats might take the cost of the vacation from flexible to out of your range.
Your right, the cost of two seats may make it outside their budget, but that is their issue, not anyone else.
What about the comfort of the passenger next to you? Do they not deserve to be comfortable as well?
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Old Mar 27, 13, 11:19 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WChou View Post
Despite being a media pariah on this issue, go with Southwest. Their "customer of size" policy is very fair and well spelled out. Purchase two seats. Pay for their early bird check-in or even business select to get on the plane within the first group of passengers. With their open seating/no assigned seat policy, choose a pair of seats and enjoy your first flight. Southwest flies 737s across their entire fleet so there is no chance of ending up on a small regional jet. If the flight is not full, you will receive a refund on the 2nd seat purchased.
Southwest has changed that policy within the last few year or so - the fare for your second seat will be refunded later, even if the flight is full or oversold. i don't know why they're being so generous, but they're effectively giving customers of size a free second seat.
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